Flyers

Best of NHL: Nicklas Backstrom racks up 4 points as Capitals top Devils

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Best of NHL: Nicklas Backstrom racks up 4 points as Capitals top Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and three assists and the Washington Capitals knocked the surprising New Jersey Devils from the unbeaten ranks with a 5-2 victory Friday night.

T.J. Oshie had two goals and an assist, and Alex Ovechkin scored his ninth of the season and set up Backstrom's power-play tally to help Washington hand New Jersey its first loss in four games.

Jacub Vrana also scored for the Capitals, and Braden Holtby had 21 saves. Washington is 8-0-1 in its last nine games against New Jersey.

Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri scored for the Devils, who had surprised many with their quick start after finishing in the basement in the Eastern Conference last season. Cory Schneider made 23 saves, getting beat three times on the power play (see full recap).

Anderson, Senators rout Flames
CALGARY, Alberta -- Craig Anderson made 25 saves for his first shutout of the season and 39th overall in the Ottawa Senators' 6-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Friday night.

Cody Ceci, Mark Stone and Derrick Brassard each had a goal and an assist, Mike Hoffman, Ryan Dzingel and Chris Wideman also scored, and Kyle Turris had three assists.

Mike Smith was pulled from Calgary's net after giving up five goals on 22 shots in 47:48. Eddie Lack mopped up the final eight minutes, giving up Wideman's goal.

The Flames were shut out for the second time this season. After being blanked 3-0 in Edmonton in their opener, they had won three straight.

Anderson's best stop came early in the third. Matthew Tkachuk got behind the defense but, as he went to his backhand, Anderson closed the pads. Four of his stops came against Jaromir Jagr in the 45-year-old's home debut. Jagr's best chance came when he was set up from behind the net by Sam Bennett (see full recap).

Blue Jackets rally to beat Rangers
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Artemi Panarin and Seth Jones scored to rally the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers on Friday night.

Zach Werenski had two assists and Lukas Sedlak added an empty-net goal for Columbus.

Panarin, acquired from Chicago in the offseason, got his first goal with the Blue Jackets. He snaked through the defense and beat goaltender Henrik Lundqvist between the pads 7:25 into the third for a 2-1 lead. He's tied for the team lead with four points.

Sergei Bobrovsky had 37 saves for Columbus, and Lundqvist stopped 40 shots.

Kevin Hayes scored for New York with 5:25 left in the first period. Hayes intercepted Jones' drop pass and charged on a breakaway, beating Bobrovsky on his glove side.

Jones made amends with 45 seconds left in the second by snapping a shot from the left wall that hit the Rangers' Mika Zibanejad in the shin. Lundqvist was caught lunging the other way, and the deflected shot bounced in off the post to make it 1-1.

The Blue Jackets opened the third with an 11-0 shot advantage in the first six minutes but couldn't solve Lundqvist until Panarin broke the tie (see full recap).

Dadonov's hat trick helps Panthers beat Penguins

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USA Today Images

Dadonov's hat trick helps Panthers beat Penguins

SUNRISE, Fla. — Evgenii Dadonov scored with 1:53 to play to complete a hat trick and give the Florida Panthers a 6-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.

Dadonov beat goalie Matt Murray on a one-timer off Aleksander Barkov's pass for the winner. Dadonov has 18 goals this season.

Vincent Trocheck, Jamie McGinn and Derek MacKenzie also scored. Barkov had three assists, Keith Yandle added two, and Roberto Luongo made 24 saves.

Evgeni Malkin had two goals and an assist for the Penguins, and Carl Hagelin, Patric Hornqvist and Bryan Rust added goals. Tristan Jarry made 13 saves for Pittsburgh before he was replaced in the second period. Murray had 11 saves in relief.

Trocheck finished a 2-on-1 cross-ice pass from Malgin after a breakout pass from Yandle early in the first period. Trocheck tapped in the pass at 3:44 for his team-leading 24th goal (see full recap.)

Maple Leafs win ninth straight at home
TORONTO — Ron Hainsey broke a tie with 1:23 left to give the Toronto Maple Leafs their franchise record-tying ninth straight home victory, 4-3 over the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.

Hainsey's one-timed William Nylander's pass past goalie Tuuka Rask for his fourth goal of the season.

Toronto moved a point ahead of Boston for the second seed in the Atlantic Division.

Nazem Kadri scored twice, Mitch Marner had a goal and three assists, and Nylander had two assists. Frederik Andersen made 23 saves to improve to 10-1-0 against the Bruins.

Brad Marchand scored twice, and Jake DeBrusk also connected for Boston. Rask made 32 saves (see full recap.)

Point leads Lightning to shootout win over Canadiens
MONTREAL — Brayden Point scored in regulation and added the shootout winner and the Tampa Bay Lightning regained the top spot in the NHL with a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

Nikita Kucherov and Ryan Callahan also scored in regulation to help the Lightning (42-17-3) win their third straight and move a point ahead of idle Vegas for the overall NHL lead.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves for his league-leading 36th victory of the season.

Byron Froese, Joe Morrow and Max Pacioretty scored for Montreal. Antti Niemi, making his second straight start in relief of the injured Carey Price, stopped 36 shots. Price is sidelined indefinitely with a concussion (see full recap.)

Ovechkin scores twice in Capitals victory 
WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin added to his NHL lead with two goals on the night he tied the Washington record for most games played, and the Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-1 on Saturday.

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored 50 seconds into the game and had two assists. Andre Burakovsky and Lars Eller also had goals for Washington, which leapfrogged Pittsburgh and moved back into first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals had lost two in a row and five of seven.

Ovechkin's 37th goal came on the power play with 9:47 remaining after Buffalo closed to 2-1 on Sam Reinhart's goal 14 seconds into the third period. Ovechkin redirected a shot past Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner with 1:24 left for his 38th goal.

The 32-year-old Ovechkin played in his 983rd NHL game, tying Calle Johansson for most in Capitals history. Ovechkin holds franchise records for goals (596) and points (1,105) (see full recap.)

Even the bounces are going Flyers' way

Even the bounces are going Flyers' way

BOX SCORE 

OTTAWA, Ontario — An early goal, a beautiful goal, a lucky goal and a disallowed goal. That’s all you need to know about the Flyers' 5-3 win over the Ottawa Senators Saturday afternoon (see observations). Just for fun though, here’s a little more detail.

Ivan Provorov scored 28 seconds into the game to get the Flyers going in what eventually turned out to be their fifth consecutive win and 11th consecutive game with a point.

With the score 2-1 in favor of the Flyers late in the second period, Zack Smith looked like he had tied the game for the Senators, but coach Dave Hakstol issued a challenge and the goal was overturned on an offside that wasn’t originally called.

Well done.

In the third period, Claude Giroux scored a beautiful breakaway goal when he contorted his body to his backhand than back to his forehand before depositing the puck behind Craig Anderson in the Ottawa goal, who was left in a twisted heap in the corner of the crease.

That goal made it 3-1 four minutes into the third and after Nolan Patrick made it 4-1, Brandon Manning dumped a shot in just passed the red line, but the puck hit a stanchion in the glass and redirected into the net. Anderson had a great view of the goal from behind the net where he was standing after he went out to play the puck.

“We’re getting the bounces,” Giroux said.

“Brandon Manning’s goal, you can’t draw that up, but we’re definitely going to take it.”

Ivan Provorov and Robert Hagg also scored for the Flyers, who have now slipped into a first-place tie with the Pittsburgh Penguins atop the Metropolitan Division, pending the outcome of the Penguins' game Saturday night.

Considering they were last in the division about two months ago, that’s a pretty nice turnaround.

“I think it was always in the room and that we just had to believe in ourselves and know that we were capable of doing good things,” said forward Travis Konecny.

“We just had to stick with it and eventually things were going to pay off for us.”

That they have, and although Saturday might not have been their best effort, it was good enough. The Senators got two late goals from Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel to make the final count a little more respectable. Mike Hoffman also scored.

“We’re playing some good hockey right now and everyone has bought into what we want to do here,” Giroux said, adding the overturned goal was big.

“Anytime you get a goal like that turned (over), it’s a relief and a walk-up call at the same time,”

Nolan Patrick scored just his ninth goal in his rookie season, but he has six in his last 13, including goals in four straight.

“I think I’ve been playing good in the last 15 to 20 games and not just because of the goals; I think I’ve improved on both ends of the puck,” Patrick said.

He was standing at the top of the crease when Manning’s pass/shot hit his stick and redirected in past Anderson.

On a final note and not to be lost in all the offense, Petr Mrazek made 25 saves and has won both starts with the Flyers since being acquired last week from the Detroit Red Wings.

All is good on Broad Street.